Tomato soup


serves 4 for lunch or 6 as a starter

To make the tastiest tomato soup you’ll ever experience wait until the tomatoes are at their most ripe and juicy, around September

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: nutrition per serving for four

  • kcal123
  • fat7g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs13g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre4g
  • protein4g
  • salt1.08g
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  • 1-1¼kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 1 medium onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 small carrot



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 celery stick



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 squirts of tomato purée (about 2 tsp)
  • a good pinch of sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1.2 litres/ 2 pints hot vegetable stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes)


  1. Firstly, prepare your vegetables. You need 1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don't, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don't soften during cooking and you'd get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel 1 medium onion and 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop 1 celery stick roughly the same size.

  2. Spoon 2 tbsp olive oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they're soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

  3. Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper. Tear 2 bay leaves into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.

  4. Slowly pour in the 1.2 litres/ 2 pints of hot stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes), stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. (The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.)

  6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve. Or sieve and serve chilled with some cream swirled in. For other serving suggestions, see opposite.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (282)

BestMama's picture

Is the author of this lovely recipe paid by the word?? Great soup but I really want to just type the instructions out again.
Please keep it SIMPLE. We don't need to be told to "throw away stalks"and to "stand back for a few seconds while the steam escapes" surely!
Maybe I'm humourless but I would love this to be concise, clear and with less flowery childish language. This language would never end up in a book (one hopes!).

rmcl's picture

lovely soup, finished in slow cooker, added some red lentils towards the end which made a nice slightly thicker consistency when blended. Didn't add the sugar and is wasn't missed. Even the kids loved it!

samskipp's picture

This is my go to tomato soup recipe, especially around now when we have more tomatoes in the garden then we know what to do with! It really is much much better made with fresh, seasonal and ripe tomatoes - the watery white ones you get in the supermarket just don't make tasty soup.

I've experimented with throwing in a few sun dried tomatoes with the veg, but it doesn't really need it. I only ever use 1l of stock though as that is more than enough!

ecollins's picture

Nice recipe. Easy enough to make and tasty. We did peel the tomatoes and also used about 2/3 of the stock suggested. Total amount would have been too much. Did not like the way the method was written though! Even my young daughter couldn't understand why the descriptive piece about pulling stalks off was needed.

ldonne1's picture

Great soup. I found the recipe fine however had read about it being too watery and having to add extra ingredients. Instead, i allowed it to reduce down by about a third (took about 1 hour on simmer) and the flavour was great and concentrated. I also added 4 garlic gloves to mine. Still makes 6 servings of 320ml each. Enjoy!!

mipy's picture

Really good base recipe from which we can build on to suit individual tastes. I found the quantities just right for excellent flavours. I didn't add any sugar, used basil instead of bay & added 80g or split red lentils to make it a bit more filling - and found that suited our tastes perfectly.
PS I found the way it is written just fine....

gigi000's picture

Great and easy soup! I followed the advice of the comments and added less (1L) stock and a potato to help thicken the soup. Was delicious!

Jane C's picture

Absolutely delicious soup. I didn't use celery as I am not that keen. I added half a sweet potato. Served with cheese scones. Yum yum

Struan Farm's picture

Have just made two different batches of this soup, which is delicious. We've got a surplus of tomatoes happening in the garden right now here in New Zealand, and I've been looking for good recipes to cook up and freeze. This is at the top of the list! After reading the comments I didn't add any water to my first batch, just put in the stock cubes. But found that the soup was too thick after I pureed it, and I added a bit of vegetable stock to get the consistency I liked. So moral of the story: it depends on your tomatoes. Ours were quite meaty.

Bethsheba of the Bath House's picture

Dear BBC Goodfood

You are my website of choice when looking up recipe ideas. Your recipes are invariably easy to follow yielding good results and you do not bombard me with surveys or make sign up to your site before I can even glance at one recipe.

However, just one small gripe if I may. Who was your intended audience for this soup recipe? Children? Why is it written SO simplistically using whimsical infantile language? Who talks about the STALKY bits on tomatoes? Are they just not simply STALKS? I have never read before in any recipe ever to SHOOT the tomato slices off the chopping board into the pan? Why do you suggest that the reader PLOPS the tomato puree into the soup?

Your silly language and moronic over instruction has quite ruined my pleasure my reading and trying out recipes from your site!

You are the BBC, the home of the KING'S English no less! Please remember your audience and our sensibilities unless you really are aiming to be the PEPPA PIG story book of the cookery websites!

Bethsheba (Lady)

Yorkie1965's picture

2nd time I've made this soup but this time I added some potatoes as a thickener and the results were amazing, I also do homemade baguette to go with any soup I make and the wife loves it. This is the only tomato soup the wife will eat and I've tried a few different recipes. Fantastic for the colder weather that we're going to be getting.

thea_f's picture

Tried this out and loved it! Checked the comments before and saw that a lot of people mentioned it was a bit runny so i held back on the boiling water added to the cube. Other than that, followed instructions and it came out great. I didn't have celery so i opted for green peppers instead which gave the soup quite a nice touch. Would definitely recommend :)

Marie T K's picture

A great quick & easy recipe. The soup turned out well, lovely texture, delicious with crusty bread. I decided to try it as the recipe says for the first time - except I used slightly less water than suggested and probably more tomatoes - but I can see myself making this again and again and adding my own touches to it. I also used the end of the season home grown tomatoes which I'm sure improved the flavour. Now an autumn favourite in my house!

sarahfh's picture

Nice soup but agree that is a bit runny and could do with less stock. I added a fresh chilli and chilli flakes which added a nice bit if spice undertones.

MaxG's picture

Fantastic soup. I made two large batches using about 7kg of mixed tomatoes and also threw in about 750g of peppers, just because I had them and they needed using. I also added less stock, about 2/3 of the recommendation. Put the soup through a sieve to remove the seeds but made sure I got all the goodness and thickness out of the pulp. Absolutely fabulous, yielded about 12ltr of soup for the freezer :). I will make this again next year too :)

rach6912's picture

I made this soup with a variety of greenhouse tomatoes, cherry/beefsteak/salad both red and yellow and it turned out delicious! I didn't have any celery but it was still tasty. I used a stick blender then pushed through a sieve but still way easier than peeling the tomatoes to start with. Would probably use much less stock next time. Thanks for a fab recipe!

Alyal's picture

Love this soup, the result is lovely. I am doing Weightwatchers so I left out the olive oil and used a 1 cal spray. This made a point free soup

ChefAtWork1's picture

this was a nice meal x

yellowrose852's picture

I think the over simplified instructions actually made it more conplicated. I wasn't that impressed with the soup. The flavour wasn't great and it's too runny.

pgib8's picture

What kind of quantity is "1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz" !?!?! Look's more like a NASA launch code. I will have no idea how many tomatoes to get for this.


Questions (10)

ogham003's picture

could you add a download pdf button?

goodfoodteam's picture

Thanks for your suggestion. We don't have plans to do this at the moment but new features are always being added so we'll keep this one in mind.

Sarahb888's picture

Do you need to take the seeds out of the tomatoes?

goodfoodteam's picture

No you do not need to take them out, they will add more flavour to the soup. 

buzimonkey's picture

I am new at this home made soup thing, how many tomatoes is 1-1¼kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes? Is it 1-1 1/4Kg or 2lb or 4oz or 12oz? The way it's written out is very confusing for a newbie like me.

goodfoodteam's picture

Yes, it does seem a bit confusing - it is basically offering you the option to cook with 1 kilo of tomatoes (2lb 4oz) or 1.4 kilos (2lb 12oz). Just use 1 kilo with an extra dash of tomato puree at the end if you want a stronger taste.

pgib8's picture

Why do I have to freeze the soup first before I can eat it?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi pgib8 thanks for your question. It's absolutely fine to eat the soup without freezing it first. At the end of step 5 we advise that this is the best point to freeze it but only if you are making it ahead. If you want to eat it straight away just skip the note on freezing and head straight to step 6. Hope this helps, let us know how you get on. 

Polyglot's picture

What type of stock should I use? vegetable?....

goodfoodteam's picture
Hi there thanks for your question, vegetable or chicken stock would both work well.

Tips (4)

vicki_mh's picture

Roast the tomatoes first with olive oil, oregano and seasoning. Add a couple of bay leaves to the stock and veg. Absolutely delicious. I only sieved about 3/4 of the soup to leave some texture. Also great if you roast a couple of red peppers.

Sammyblackwell's picture

Don't blend straight after cooking! I did and the top of my blender flew off and caused soupoffical (pardon the pun) burns to my face, neck and chest!'s picture

Instead of using tomatoes, use a couple of cans of Chopped Tomato and a medium jar of Passata.

Pat Danels's picture

Remember to sieve pips as i forgot